CLEARFIELD — A father and daughter work on building beautiful projects and strengthening their bond every day through a Clearfield County masonry business.
Bowman Masonry, based in Clearfield, is composed of Gary and Katie Bowman.
Gary was in the 10th grade at a Clearfield vocational-technical school when he learned how to lay block and brick, he said, graduating as the best mason in his class. He then went on to compete in a district bricklaying competition in Altoona, moving on to states and then the Poconos, where he finished in third place.
Gary worked for a contractor for two years, then started working for himself in 1980, and has employed 15 people for 15 years.
Katie, who was going to school for architectural technology, started working for her dad out of high school.
“I just fell in love with it,” she said. “My dad is like my best friend.”
A big part of the business is being versatile, Gary says. Bowman Masonry does many things, including building foundations for homes, fireplaces, room additions, flues, brick-casing buildings, pouring concrete for anyone in Clearfield County and more.
“It’s a dying trade,” Katie said. “You don’t see many people doing this anymore. I like being able to look at something, already envision it and being able to create like a work of art.”
Bowman Masonry just finished work at the Holiday Inn Express and Suites and Bennett and Houser Funeral Home, Gary said.
“I like making somebody happy and pleasing a customer — showing them our skills and what we can do,” Gary said. “We make the homeowner happy and satisfy many people.”
In the wintertime, the Bowmans offer plowing services. He also specializes in interior waterproofing, which he’s been doing for 29 years.
The father-daughter pair has learned to anticipate each other’s next move, Gary says.
“From day one, Katie and I have always had a good relationship,” Gary says.
“When we put our heads together, we can always come up with some really good ideas,” Katie adds. “We’re always on the same page and can look at projects the same way.”
Katie kept Bowman as her last name, so she can keep the firm her father created going in the future.
“You don’t see many women doing this type of work,” Katie said. “To me, it’s really satisfying. Whenever we can make nothing into something, it’s a really big accomplishment. We love being able to stand back and say, ‘Wow, we did that.’ It makes us proud.”
For more information, visit Bowman Masonry on Facebook.